Tag Archives: food

So I’ve Been Thinking about…Things (Food)

3 Oct


(I was writing recently and wanted to define what a “thing” is and further wanted to reduce my need for “things” down to the most basic necessity one needs for survival.  This is what emerged.)

A thing is an object of material substance generally considered useful.  Things can be utilitarian (their use is born out of necessity; serving a specific purpose and/or accomplishing a particular task) or they can be non-utilitarian (born out of the desire to consume, possess, or amass belongings, a luxury).

As I write it is my intent to discover for myself the things essential to my existence (ie: without which sustaining life would be impossible).  The most basic, most essential thing, that is both useful & necessary, is food & water.  Human beings must consume food and water to sustain their bodies with the minimal nutrition required for survival.

As a thing, food can be, as earlier defined, utilitarian or non-utilitarian.  Science teaches us that the typical human being needs a certain caloric intake on a daily basis to promote survival and in order to thrive and maintain basic health & well-being.  Eating foods that accomplish this minimal requirement would describe a person who has a utilitarian relationship to food.

Anyone who eats food for any purpose other than basic health and well-being has a relationship to food that is non-utilitarian.  Tastes, preferences, and quality of food served are all luxuries and not strictly utilitarian.

I must confess that my own attitudes about food are not always utilitarian.  I like foods bursting with flavor.  I like purchasing quality foods.  I enjoy making interesting dishes both tasteful to the palate and aesthetically appealing.  In confessing these things I am not admitting that these attitudes and practices are bad, but they are revealing.

What do my attitudes about food reveal?  They reveal a particular socio-economic bias that is not shared by people the world round, nor even within a fairly tight geographical radius of the place I live.  My relationship to food has been utterly shaped by and provides clear commentary on my access to food (ie: grocery stores bursting with options and the financial capacity to pay for it).  Again this is simply stating a factual reality it is not meant as a value judgement, per se.

Though, in reality, vast segments of the human population would find my definition of a utilitarian relationship to food a luxury in that their access to food and water, as basic necessities for survival and well-being, are routinely impeded by the political and economic realities present in the places they happen to originate from.  Recent statistics show that 805 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2012–14 (source: U.S. FAO, September 2014).

This reality should impose on each of us a requisite period of reflection to consider our own relationship to food.  Allow me to suggest some questions for consideration: How do I view food?  What are my attitudes about food?  Do I feel I am entitled to certain types of food that others may not, at no fault of their own, have access to?  Do I care about this issue only for myself or am I aware of the need for food as an issue of justice & basic human equality?  Should governments get involved in international situations where people groups are suffering because of a lack of access to the food necessary for their basic survival and well-being?  Am I willing to have less so others can have more?

Food is a physical and communal necessity for every person everywhere.  It is an unavoidable necessity but one’s relationship to and attitudes about food (this thing we literally cannot live without) have global justice implications we often ignore, not wantonly, rather simply by omitting from our consideration the need others have for it on an equal basis.

The simple act of writing this piece has prompted me to action.  I am researching my community’s resources for people who are food insecure and striving to have a more robust understanding of the issue of food insecurity within my local context.  I am considering ways that I might get involved in serving the needs of those local resources and the individuals they serve.  Further, I am embarking on a process of intense personal reflection as it relates to my own food related attitudes and biases.

It is my hope that in some way, however small, reading this might prompt you to evaluate your own food attitudes & biases and likewise help you evaluate your role in addressing the local and global justice issues surrounding this “thing” we call food.



24 Nov



These cinnamon rolls make think of the weekend and of Christmas.  We always had cinnamon rolls at Christmastime.  The very smell brings back a floodgate of memories.  The holidays are a time to remember.  It is true that the holidays can stir a mixture of good and bad memories and I think that is because both kinds get tangled up in one another.  They don’t happen apart from the people we love and the places that matter.


Cheesy Painting

19 Nov



My other food “romance.”  Hard cheese, a crunchy baguette, and some red wine, could there be a more perfect meal?


26 Oct


I can feel the warmth of the baking stone as I imagine this bread being pulled out of the oven.  I can smell the rich aroma of the bread as it cools filling the kitchen with its nearly edible scent.  The baguette is “anytime” bread.  Its crunch is wonderful, its flavor rich, and its satisfaction undeniable.  Here is an article on the history of French bread: http://foreigndetours.com/baguette-and-french-bread/.  Savourer!

Bread for the Day

22 Oct



I love bread.  I have been thinking about how bread is essential, making its way onto tables everyday all over the world.  It is a filling and satisfying food.  It provides basic, simple sustenance.  Fresh baked bread ignites the senses.  Nothing better!  I am grateful for daily bread.

Worth Living

13 Aug

Life seems to be a discontinuous vacillating from breathtaking to mundane and it can change from one to the other without notice. For me, there are factors that help determine where I find myself on the continuum.

Rest. Rest sets the stage for my outlook. When I’m rested my full energy is focused on living and the task(s) at hand. Everything else seems more vibrant and alive, even the things that are typically easy to overlook seem more interesting.

Exercise. Exercise helps me push my body to its limit and after running or cycling or working out I feel so good. The happy endorphins exercise promotes are pumping through my body and though tired the feeling is good.

Intellect. I like things that make me think and ask questions and consider something in a new light. Reading, watching a documentary, engaging in a discussion about a topic I’m passionate about, writing, doing or appreciating art, listening to music, or watching good acting all make my mind work and I like that.

Food. I like food but I want food (both cooking and eating) to be an experience. I like to cook foods that are bursting with flavor and color and healthy nutrients. The taste of a dish that has been perfectly cooked and appropriately seasoned combined with the right glass of wine, nothing could be better.

Love. Expressing my heart and feelings in relationships is so important to who I am. Focusing care and attention on someone I love reminds me that life is bigger than my little place in it and it helps me experience life’s beauty and challenges with a realness that is very attractive to me.

While not an exhaustive list, these are the things that make life worth living from my perspective.

That About Sums it Up…

28 Jul

It’s sunny today.  It’s cool like fall.  I ran three miles and worked up a sweat.  Came home and put on some music.  Listening to the New Radicals; I really like their stuff.  I opened the bag of mocha java beans in my fridge and was captivated by the aroma.  It’s true, I love coffee.  I see a few hours of reading and relaxing in my very near future.  It’s Sunday so, “A ciascuno il suo.”

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